Thought to date back to ancient times when they represented victory or success, wreaths are now an enduring symbol of the holidays.

“A wreath is sort of like a Christmas card greeting; it shows that you’re celebrating the holidays and welcoming people to your home,” says Terry Fry, creative director at international importing and design firm Jim Marvin Enterprises, “It sets the mood before you ever open your door.”
Wreaths were initially worn around the head as a type of crown, like the ones that graced the first winners of the Olympic Games circa 776 BC, and they eventually morphed into the crowns that royalty wore. At some point, they migrated to the walls and doors, becoming decorative. “A wreath is to welcome people to your house, so you want it to be friendly,” Fry says. “It’s your first chance to make a good impression.”

The simplest, most traditional wreaths contain elements from nature – evergreens, holly, pinecones, berries and bird nests. Playing off the nature theme but with an added burst of color are fruit-filled wreaths in the tradition of Colonial Williamsburg.
Those who want more sparkle will gravitate toward wreaths of tinsel and ornaments in trendy colors.

Although wreaths carry plenty of holiday connotations, they’re used by some year-round to decorate doors and mantels. The same wreath can be changed out for each season, so merchandise wreaths in your store with different looks so that customers can see the decorating potential.

Better yet, go for multiple sales of wreaths that can be displayed in several areas of the home – on the front door, over the mantel, in the dining room or hanging from a ribbon in front of a mirror. They also make wonderful gifts for family members or a party hostess.

Jim Marvin, president of Jim Marvin Enterprises, will present a program on Christmas Wreaths at 10 a.m. Thursday, January 16 at the Design Stage on World Trade Center 1st floor during January Total Home & Gift Market.
- Adapted from Christmas Source magazine